In April we took our first trip to Hawaii to celebrate my dads 60th birthday and parents 30th anniversary all in one. The trip started last September when we surprised Dad with the tickets.
My trip started on that Monday with a trip to Spokane for work. I took a nonstop flight down Thursday morning from GEG-LAX on a Delta Embraer 175. Uneventful and smooth.
Friday morning we took an uber to the airport from the Hilton LAX right down the street.
Our flight would be leaving out of Gate 24 at LAX's terminal 2. We flew out and back about a week before the big move at LAX taking Delta over to Terminal 2 & 3. We arrived at the terminal at 6:15 AM for a 7:45 departure on HAL 1. On a Friday morning it was surprisingly easy to get checked in and through security. Utilizing skycap and TSA precheck we were airside by 6:30. The skycap experience was pretty entertaining. The gentleman took our ID's and walked into a Kiosk that other passengers were using on their own. We watched through the bay windows as he completed the process we could have done on our own.
Once through security we made our way to the Air Canada Lounge above the concourse in Terminal 2. We gained access with my priority pass select membership. Within the lounge there was a selection of continental options. No hot foods. There was coffee, juices, and a soda fountain for beverage options. Beer taps were still locked at 6:30 AM. The lounge was very clean and provided great views looking west. We spent the time watching departures head out over the Pacific and make the departure procedure back direct over LAX. We sat in the lounge for about 30 minutes and made our way to the gate at 7:00.
The flight this morning would be 100% in all classes. Promptly at 7:00 boarding began with preboards, 1st class, and then general boarding in zones. We made our way on with the 1st class announcement. Here is the only shot I have of the exterior of our bird. Hawaiian operates the A330 three times a day from LAX to HNL. This morning we would be on HAL1. At this point we were all very excited.
My brother and I would be in 1A and 1B with my parents in 2A and 2B. Our bird had the "retro" Hawaiian interior with the large tan first class seats. The seat had plenty of padding and was very cozy. The pitch on the bulkhead was fantastic (as seen below). The width was generous but still slightly smaller than AA domestic first class. There were power outlets between the seats. The recliner and leg rest buttons on the side of the seat were ok. It took a little force to get it to move. These seats did not slide forward when reclining. This is the primary reason why i would select the bulkhead seat over rows 2 or 3. Getting out of the window seat was brutal on the flight home with the seat in front of me full reclined. We had wide armrests. Within the armrests were a TV that popped up and a double folding tray table. The tray table had a swivel function that allowed you to get up out of the seat without waiting for the table to be cleared. Overall for a 5.5 hour flight it was more than enough space, entertainment, and cushion.
Our PDP drink options were a guava juize, mai tai, or water. We all took the Mai Tai's. Amazing!!
We pushed at 7:40 and had a quick taxi to 24L at LAX. During the short taxi the first round of drink orders for inflight were taken and menus were passed out for brunch. The safety video was played over the video monitors on the bulkhead. One of my favorite things about the flight was the crews friendliness and Hawaiian pride. All cabin announcement ended with the customary hawaiian thank you of Mahalo!
The takeoff roll started at 7:45. We floated off 24L and began a slow climb out over south bay. We had nice views of El Segundo, Manhattan pier, and Hermosa pier off the left side of the plane looking south. Flaps were up within 3 minutes of takeoff. I typically fly on southwest with 737's that rocket off the runway and really push you into the seat. I love that rush but there was something really comforting about floating off the runway and doing a straight out climb over the Pacific on a fully loaded A330. It didn't strain and didn't fly like a fighter jet. I fly every week for work and have my preferences. The A330 quickly jumped to near the top of the list for in-flight comfort and environment just after 10 minutes of flight time.
About 5 minutes after takeoff the first class attendants were up and preparing the ovens. With the flight being 99.9% over water we decided to lower the shades and take advantage of the in-flight entertainment.
The attendants came around with the first drink orders and sit them on the wide arm rest. After that they came around with table napkins and utensils. the first round of brunch was a warm bread and fruit plate. The main course was a sausage and assorted vegi and cheese omelet with a side of slices potatoes. The final course was a slice of cheesecake. All courses were plated and removed before the next one came. After the final course was cleared and table napkins removed a drink cart with different liquors and assorted sweets was rolled around. By the time the 1st class meal service was completed it was almost two hours into the flight.
The next two hours of the flight were spent watching movies, trying to empty drink glasses the attendants kept full, and reviewing the Hawaiian airlines magazine.
About 1.5 hours before arrival another formal drink service started. They had the Hawaiian Airlines signature Rum Punch drink as well as the full menu options. Taking full advantage of the Hawaiian flare we all decided on the rum punch.
An hour before landing the bulk head TV's turned off the flight track and begin displaying advertisements for the islands. We started down roughly 40 minutes prior to landing. The descent was smooth all the way to touchdown. We approached north of the big island and had our first views of land since LA at this time. We made a turn to the left for the downwind leg and then a large sweeping U-turn back to final with views of pearl harbor and the airbase before touching down at HNL. We had about 10 minutes of taxi.
To end the report i have to say that i really enjoyed some of the open air concourse outside of the gate areas walking between bag claim and the terminals.
In true Hawaiian fashion, MAHALO and ALOHA! Below are a few photos of the resort towers in Honolulu.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
Los Angeles - LAX
Honolulu - HNL
First time on Hawaiian and i'm already counting the days to when i get to fly it again.
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